Tom Brady

NEW YORK: Tom Brady signed a contract extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Friday and immediately set his sights on an eighth Super Bowl crown. After media reports indicating Brady had agreed terms on a new deal with Tampa Bay, the 43-year-old quarterback confirmed the move on social media. "In pursuit of 8," Brady wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of him putting pen to paper on a new contract. "@buccaneers we're keeping the band together."

The NFL Network and ESPN reported earlier that the seven-time Super Bowl winner Brady, who turns 44 in August, had agreed to a deal which will ease salary cap issues for the Bucs. The new contract keeps Brady in Tampa Bay through the 2022 season, when he will be 45, and features voidable years at the end of the contract allowing the club to spread Brady's salary cap hit over a longer period.

That will save the Buccaneers $19 million on Brady's salary for the 2021 season, when he was due to cost $28.4 million under NFL payroll limit rules and his original two-year deal. The savings will allow Tampa Bay to spend more on keeping the talented supporting cast around Brady that helped deliver a 31-9 victory over Kansas City in last month's Super Bowl at Tampa.

Brady, a five-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player and three-time NFL MVP, has long said he wanted to play until he was 45 and his championship results with a new club after 20 seasons with New England showed he still has the skill to produce success. Brady's new deal was unveiled after the Buccaneers applied a franchise tag to wide receiver Chris Godwin and signed a new extension with linebacker Lavonte David.

Brady's move should allow the club a strong chance to re-sign free agents such as top pass rusher Shaquil Barrett, tight end Rob Gronkowski and defensive end Ndamukong Suh for a title-defending campaign. Last season, Brady completed 401 of 610 passes for 4,633 yards and 40 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. - AFP